How to Accelerate Health Innovation

Stephen Horan, PhD

Stephen Horan, PhD

Guest Post By: Stephen Horan, PhD

Everyone knows we need better health and health care at lower cost.  The good news is there are health innovations emerging all around us.  In fact, the innovations we see in the popular and professional media represent only a small fraction of the innovation that is occurring today.  In every corner of Virginia, with little fanfare or publicity, there are people creating innovative ways to improve health and health care.

Those of us who work in the health field have to admit that it’s hard to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation.   Most innovations are never published, and we only hear about a few of them in scattered conversations with colleagues.   Even then, it is rare that we have a chance to talk directly with the people behind the innovation.  As a result, too many great ideas remain localized, and we lose opportunities to accelerate the spread of innovation.

Now let’s take a different view.  Imagine being able to efficiently identify and learn from some of the most practical and exciting innovations in health.  Then imagine being able to share your own innovations with a large and diverse group of individuals who share your passion for improving health and health care.  Best of all, imagine connecting with these individuals through focused communities where ideas are exchanged and innovations are spread.

This is what the Virginia Health Innovation Network is all about.

The Virginia Health Innovation Network is an online community where individuals can learn, connect, and share ideas and knowledge for health innovation.  In simple terms, the purpose of the Network is to accelerate the spread of health innovation in Virginia.

Accelerate by Learning.  Visit Learn to immediately start learning the Network and its resources.  Search the Innovations database to see what kinds of innovations are being produced right here in Virginia, in topic areas as varied as health promotion, delivery reform, payment reform, consumer engagement, and information technology.   Search the list of members to find a colleague or make a new contact.  Search the list of communities to see which ones you might like to join.  Use what you learn to spark innovations in your own organization or setting.

Accelerate by Connecting.   Visit Connect to join one or more ‘communities’ that are organized around particular topics.  Start a conversation with a community member who can help you fill a knowledge gap or figure out a challenge.   Expand your perspective by discussing important topics with community members from different sectors.  Work with a group of colleagues on an innovation project.  Do it all from wherever you have an internet connection.

Accelerate by Sharing.  Visit Share to help others learn from your own good work and ideas.  Post the best innovations of your own organization so that others can use them for inspiration.  Invite your colleagues to join the Network and share their own ideas and innovations.  By being generous with your own ideas and insights, you will model the way for other Network members, and help create a vibrant community that delivers value back to you and your organization.


Join Us!  The Virginia Health Innovation Network is here to help make Virginia the most innovative state in America when it comes to health and health care.  We invite you to join the Network and accelerate the spread of innovation in your organization and throughout Virginia.


Steve Horan, PhD is the President & CEO of  Community Health Solutions.